6/07/2006

Under The Knife Again



Hilde's newest surgery, for a fusion on her right ankle/foot, took place this morning.

She'd been having increasing pain and trouble with that foot for the last several years, as the RA-degraded bones shifted and drifted into incorrect positions. (Plus a twisting of the entire foot about sixty degrees to the right.) And it finally got intolerable enough to make losing flexibility an acceptable tradeoff.

(There hasn't been an acceptable artifical replacement for ankle joints developed yet, unlike most of her other major joints which have been being replaced -- and sometimes re-replaced -- since 1975.)

So, four hours in surgery. Basically, her foot was taken apart and the bones put back into proper position, held in place, and then a length of cadaver fibia was inserted into/thru the foot, ankle and leg bone to act as a dowel holding everything together. Also, a blade-shaped piece of metal was inserted into her heel bone, then bent and shaped to run up along the back of her lower legbone. Screws were inserted to hold the blade-piece securely, and more (diagonal) screws to hold other bones together. Plus bone paste in between the joints. Over about the next six weeks, the ankle should fuse together into a solid mass.

During those six weeks, however, she's not allowed to put any weight AT ALL on that foot. So, after a few more days in the hospital, she'll be going to a rehab facility for six weeks.

*ouch* This will be the longest we've slept apart since we got together thirty years ago.

This is going to be a rough summer.

(And since I'll be visiting her as much as possible, don't be surprised if it's even longer than usual between blogposts here.)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about this. Good luck to you both.

Cady -- my adult stepdaughter -- is scheduled in a few years for the same procedure for *her* right foot/ankle as it happens. (Already to date: four bilateral osteotimies and two different spinal fusions). She's also looking at hip replacements in the next few years.

Anonymous said...

um...I'm Tim Kyger, not anonymous

Bruce said...

Thanks, Tim. Best of luck for your daughter, too.

Jenn said...

Hey, BD,

Please give Hilde my love. I miss you guys, and we don't see enough of each other. Best wishes for her recovery, and for surviving the blast furnace that is Phoenix in the summer.

--Jenn